LOGAN – Residents got their first look at candidates for Logan Mayor Monday in a forum hosted by KVNU’s For the People radio program. The candidates answered questions ranging from whether or not Logan City is business-friendly and whether or not incumbent Mayor Randy Watts puts policies over people.
Challenger Craig Petersen, a longtime member of the Cache County Council, said he has the right kind of qualifications and if elected he would get out and meet with the people more. James Olson, the city’s Community Development Block Grant Coordinator, has lived in Logan only five years but loves the city and would do more to bring residents and elected officials together.
Mayor Watts defended his two-term record saying the city is in good financial shape and he has helped clean up neighborhoods. He said his previous experience of owning a construction company has helped him in his two terms as mayor. Watts pointed to successes of his administration, including the hydro plants and the 1000 West construction project.
“We’re trying to alleviate the pressure off Main Street,” Watts said. “I truly believe that when 10th West is completed, and it’s been a long project because of all the utility that has to be done in order to put a concrete road in, but when it’s complete from 2500 North to Highway 89 it will be a bypass road that will now give an individual a choice whether to go down Main Street or if they’re headed to Brigham they can now go that direction.”
Watts also said he wants to finish some ongoing projects that he feels are important, such as a new waste water treatment plant.
Petersen said that as a longtime member of the Cache County Council he has watched with interest issues that he believes he could have done a better job of dealing with than Watts. He agreed that an expensive waste water treatment plant is one of the major needs of the city.
“Even in the best case scenario that’s going to cost $180 a year for each residence. I’m not quite willing to capitulate on that,” Petersen said. “I think the impacts are supposedly on the aquatic life. But there are studies that show the aquatic life in the Cutler Reservoir are doing just fine. I think we need greater proof of its impact. But the thing I want to do is explore alternative technologies. I think there are things we can look at that we haven’t looked at yet.”
Olson said that while the waste water facility is important, it is also important to keep Logan’s neighborhoods healthy. Olson said he would build stronger neighborhoods and that would help draw more good-paying businesses into the city.
“I have concerns about the neighborhoods and how we’re developing those. I’m concerned about the business reputation that we have,” Olson said. “There are a lot of concerns out there in the business community.
“That is going to prevent a lot of us from being able to get better jobs. It’s going to inhibit business owners from being able to achieve the prosperity that they ought to.”
Both Petersen and Olson told the audience that Logan City needs to be more business-friendly. Petersen said that a lot of people in the county believe that Logan tends to put policies over people. He said his experience, including a recently-retired economics professor at Utah State University, qualify him for the job.To hear the KVNU Logan City Mayoral Debate in its entirety, <a href=”http://610kvnu.com/assets/podcaster/324/2013_07_23_324_12784_2867.mp3″ target=”_blank”>click here</a>.To hear the KVNU “Meet the Candidate Forum” featuring James Olson and Randy Watts, <a href=”http://610kvnu.com/assets/podcaster/324/2013_07_23_324_12786_2867.mp3″ target=”_blank”>click here</a>.To hear the KVNU “Meet the Candidate Forum” featuring Craig Petersen, <a href=”http://610kvnu.com/assets/podcaster/324/2013_07_23_324_12785_2867.mp3″ target=”_blank”>click here</a>.